The past year has certainly been an eventful one. Controversy, political unrest, a world that appears to be teetering on the brink of war, and lots of opportunities to add one’s voice to the mess and be heard. Of course, some people have managed to make their voices louder than most, whether they were addressing the news or focusing solely on their own niche. To that end we have assembled a list of some of the top influencers of 2017. Those who have weathered the storm and come out on top.
Gaming: Mark Fischbach (Markiplier)
Given the controversy surrounding PewDiePie, it should come as no surprise that his position at the top of the heap should be supplanted by his closest competitor Markiplier. As a YouTube gamer, Markiplier built his channel upon Let’s Play videos featuring his often amusing and frequently over-the-top reactions to events that unfold on-screen. With over 7 billion combined views on his videos, it is clear that his channel has a lot of reach, and the lack of recent controversy certainly makes him more attractive to brands.
Tech & Business: Gary Vaynerchuk
Born in the former USSR, Gary migrated to the US as a toddler. Now age 42, he is certainly one of the older individuals to occupy this list. What makes him unique is he started building his online presence before social media even existed. Early on he recognized the power of the internet and pushed his family’s wine business online. In 2006, he launched a daily webcast, and now hosts his own online docu-series on YouTube.
It should also be noted that he has investments in social media platforms including YouTube, giving him that little extra return on investment for his efforts.
Food: Rosanna Pansino
In another world, Rosanna Pansino would likely be associated with more conventional television programs. Today, she is one of the most influential chefs on YouTube. Originally intending her channel to be mere practice for traditional mediums, she found herself with a strong following insistent that she continue to produce cooking related content with more consistency. Her decision to do so has led to an enormous following and a seven-figure income thanks to ad revenue. Beyond that, she has leveraged her influence into a line of baking products which has only increased her revenue.
Entertainment: Lilly Singh (IISuperWomanII)
The story of Lilly Singh is a story that one generally assumes to be common for YouTubers. One day, she learned she could make a career out of being a YouTube star, started putting videos together, and eventually become well known. Her inspiration was a YouTuber called “Jenna Marbles,” and was inspired by the fact that she essentially made videos from just her laptop and her thoughts. Lilly proceeded to make more videos and steadily grew her following.
While her first video is no longer available for viewing, she has since built herself into a brand known for a variety of videos from comedy to rants to activism, with her own lipstick (Bawse). With an audience of over 11 million, she is certainly one to keep track of.
Because you can’t have an influencer list on the internet without a cat. Despite being around for years, GrumpyCat still commands attention among YouTubers with his perpetually angry look. Having become the official spokescat for ‘Friskies,’ GrumpyCat’s value is unlikely to diminish anytime soon.
Remember – Size Isn’t Everything
While these influencers certainly represent some of the most listened to voices on the internet, remember that when looking for influencers it’s not always about the size of the audience. While these individuals have certainly built up brands that speak to a wide audience, these are just a few of the possible YouTubers who can propel your brand to the next level. High-quality influencer marketing platforms like NeoReach understand this reality and consider a variety of factors when matching you with an influencer. If your star influencer is not on the list, don’t worry – a good influencer is one who is genuinely enthusiastic about your brand, not just one with a big audience.